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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Langdon, Henry Sherburne (fl. 1776) to Woodbury Langdon

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01412.59 Author/Creator: Langdon, Henry Sherburne (fl. 1776) Place Written: Portsmouth, New Hampshire Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 12 February 1776 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written by the ten-year-old son of Woodbury Langdon. Woodbury was elected to the New Hampshire assembly in 1774-1775, but then spent the next two years in England trying to recover a large sum he invested there. This letter was sent to England. Henry says that Doctor Brackett asked him to write and to ask for a watch, laced hat, sword, and pistol. Says he has been a good boy, attended school, minded his books, and been good to his mother, brothers, and sisters. Tells his father that he has a new little sister since he left. Says he is looking forward to seeing him. Signs his name "Henry Shurborn Langdon." Pencil note below dateline says "10 years old." Upon Woodbury's return, he was elected to the Continental Congress. Woodbury's brother and Henry's uncle was John Langdon, a member of the Continental Congress and future President of New Hampshire and U.S. Senator.


Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Children and Family, Education

Sub Era: The War for Independence